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Computer Associates anticipatesoperating loss

Computer Associates International has anticipated revenue of $770m (£538m) and a lower-than-expected operating loss for its last...

Computer Associates International has anticipated revenue of $770m (£538m) and a lower-than-expected operating loss for its last quarter. The company also announced the sale of its most of its interBiz unit assets to SSA Global Technologies.

CA said it expects its per-share operating loss to improve from its previous estimate of five cents to four cents, excluding acquisition amortisation and special charges. For the same quarter a year ago, CA posted revenue of $732m (£515m) and an operating loss of 29 cents a share.

The company did not preview its expected pro forma results, even though it has, traditionally, highlighted those numbers.

CA revamped its business model and accounting in late 2000, switching to a subscription sales model and recognising revenue ratably, apportioning it throughout the life of a contract.

This change has made it difficult for analysts to compare CA's results with previous ones, sparking criticism that CA is using accounting tricks to hide slumping sales.

Financial analysts base their estimates on CA's pro forma figures. For the quarter ended 31 March, the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call is for earnings of 72 cents a share.

CA will report its financial results for the quarter, the fourth of its fiscal year, on 14 May.

CA added that it has sold most assets of its interBiz e-business software and hosting services unit to SSA Global Technologies, which is repositioning itself as a software vendor for industry verticals.

SSA said the acquisition would bolster its growth in several key verticals, including the automotive, consumer goods, general manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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